Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Public safety

Standoff in Spring Hill ends when man kills himself

SPRING HILL — For 12 hours, negotiators tried to get James Michael Soard to come out peacefully.

By the time deputies responded to a report of shots fired about 2 a.m. Monday, the 39-year-old Soard already had shot at his sister in the house at 8169 Berkeley Manor Blvd., authorities said.

His sister fled, and Soard fired at deputies, said Hernando Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Denise Moloney.

About 3 p.m., with a SWAT team surrounding the house and his mother still inside, Soard fatally shot himself, Moloney said. By then, he was wanted on four counts of attempted murder for shooting at his sister and deputies.

Soard's mother, who chose to stay during the standoff, walked out unharmed.

Authorities did not release more information Monday, so it was unclear what kind of gun Soard had and what caused him to open fire.

The daylong standoff prompted officials to evacuate nearby homes and block access to the Berkeley Manor subdivision. A crowd gathered at a 7-Eleven on U.S. 19 and watched the incident unfold.

A little after noon, members of the Pasco sheriff's SWAT team arrived to relieve their Hernando counterparts. About 2:30 p.m., officers broke a window on the side of the one-story home. There was a bang, then a second; a few minutes later, a third. An armored truck pulled up to the house, and a voice on a loudspeaker ordered the occupants to come out with hands up.

When no one came, officers dropped a flash grenade through the broken window. Soard's mother came out about 15 minutes later.

Soard was arrested in February in Orlando and charged with trespassing and resisting arrest, records show. The charges were dropped March 11.

The owners of the house are Yuko Soard and the estate of Charles E. Soard, property records show. The house was last sold in March 2011.

An officer showed up at home of Richard Sommerfeld and Donna Christenson about 6:30 a.m. Monday and told them to stay inside and away from windows. The couple live catty-corner to the Soards.

When the standoff ended, Christenson took photos of two bullet holes in a neighbor's house. One round landed in the stucco above the garage door, Christenson said. Another was embedded in the front door.

"I assumed this was a domestic dispute and that anybody outside the house was not at risk," Christenson said. "To find out he was firing shots that hit the house across the street is pretty unnerving."

 
Comments
Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

Fingerprint on Gatorade bottle leads to arrest of man, 23, in sexual assault of 71-year-old woman

NEW PORT RICHEY — The 23-year-old man wanted in connection with sexually assaulting a 71-year-old woman on Monday left behind the clue that deputies said led them right to him: A fingerprint on a Gatorade bottle.Deputies said that and other evidence ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
County gives initial support to adding deputies at Hernando elementary schools

County gives initial support to adding deputies at Hernando elementary schools

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Commission on Tuesday informally supported adding as many as 10 school resource officers in county schools, including one for every elementary school, in an effort to bolster security in the wake of the deadly school...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Next stop for Parkland school shooting survivors: the Florida Capitol

Next stop for Parkland school shooting survivors: the Florida Capitol

PARKLAND — Students who survived the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School began a 400-mile journey to Florida’s capital Tuesday to urge lawmakers to prevent a repeat of the massacre that killed 17 students and faculty last week.Three buses carryi...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Man charged with killing wife who disappeared at sea

Man charged with killing wife who disappeared at sea

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A man who claimed his wife disappeared at sea when their boat collided with an unknown object near the Bahamas was charged Tuesday with killing her and intentionally trying to sink the vessel to cover his tracks.Lewis Bennett...
Published: 02/20/18
She drove drunk with a child in the backseat, deputies say. She said she ‘just got out of rehab’

She drove drunk with a child in the backseat, deputies say. She said she ‘just got out of rehab’

A Miami woman is accused of driving intoxicated with a child in the back seat of her car — and she told a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputy that she "just got out of rehab," according to arrest recordsStephanie Roque, 30, was traveling through Welli...
Published: 02/20/18
Investigators find insufficient evidence against former state fair executive director

Investigators find insufficient evidence against former state fair executive director

TAMPA — Charles Pesano may have used his position as executive director of the Florida State Fair to funnel business to his family’s company, get Tampa Bay Rays tickets and have a hot tub installed in his Valrico home, but there is no evidence he com...
Published: 02/20/18
Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, found safe after leaving Bradenton home

Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, found safe after leaving Bradenton home

BRADENTON — Jalyssa Shannon, the sister of 13-year-old Riverview murder victim Janessa Shannon, was found safe Monday evening after leaving her mother’s Bradenton home Sunday, authorities said.Jalyssa was found about 7 p.m., according to the Manatee ...
Published: 02/20/18
Young child struck by vehicle in Tampa

Young child struck by vehicle in Tampa

TAMPA — A young child was injured after being struck by a vehicle Thursday morning, according to police.The crash involved a pedestrian and a vehicle near Myrtle Street and Serena Drive around 7:45 a.m., police said.The child sustained non-life threa...
Published: 02/20/18
Most Americans say Trump, Congress not doing enough to stop mass shootings, Post-ABC poll finds

Most Americans say Trump, Congress not doing enough to stop mass shootings, Post-ABC poll finds

More than 6 in 10 Americans fault Congress and President Donald Trump for not doing enough to prevent mass shootings, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with most Americans continuing to say these incidents are more reflective of probl...
Published: 02/20/18
Romano: Until the Parkland shooting, lawmakers ignored requests for school safety funds

Romano: Until the Parkland shooting, lawmakers ignored requests for school safety funds

His words and his pleas are similar to what we’ve heard from others in recent days.Kids deserve to feel safe when they walk into a classroom in Florida. More security is needed. More boots on the ground would be helpful. Mostly, more money must be de...
Published: 02/20/18